MJA condemns Reeko Moosa for “violating media freedom”

The Maldives Journalists Association (MJA) has criticised ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik for interfering with media freedom, following comments Moosa made about the political coverage of private station Villa TV (VTV).

VTV is owned by Jumhoree Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim, one of the country’s most successful businessmen.

In a press statement, the MJA “strongly condemned” remarks made by Moosa on August 17, when the MP publicly threatened “action” against VTV for “repeatedly misleading and broadcasting news in a way that smears respect for MDP”.

“After Gasim was arrested on accusations of corruption, VTV ran round the clock images showing a a burning picture of our Honorable President,’’ Moosa said. “It was encouraging citizens to create chaos.’’

Opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Nihan told Minivan News it was “typical” of Moosa to attack any media that “does not report the way he likes.”

The MJA meanwhile accused Moosa of attempting to “violate media freedom”, and “threaten journalists and media organisations.”

“MJA also sad to note that a senior official of MDP – a party known for voicing free media – has repeatedly slated the media… and incited public hatred against journalism,” the MJA said.

In a retaliatory statement, Moosa claimed “some TV stations were established with the intention to cause civil unrest among the citizens, smear the respect of political figures in the country, and bother their personal life.”

“I am astonished that the MJA is silent about this matter,” he said, adding that the fact media were airing such claims  was evidence that media freedom existed.

This is not the first time Moosa has had a run-in with a privately-owned television station.

In March another private station, DhiTV, extensively covered a story in which four expatriate men were discovered loading 168 bottles of King Roberts gin and Muirhead whiskey into a car registered to Moosa, on the same day controversial liquor licensing regulations were unveiled by the Ministry of Economic Development.

“Whoever brought that booze out from their warehouse knew it would be confiscated,” noted the President’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair, at the time. “Those brands are not what you would call hot sellers – it was menthol gin and watered-down whiskey.”

Moosa, who was in Singapore at the time, claimed his driver was “threatened or bribed” and the incident was a “politically motivated” attempt to discredit him, and noted that DhiTV “has been showing the incident non-stop for 24 hours.”

“The country’s economy in the past was in the hands of a few rich businessmen, and they are unhappy that the new government is not giving into their demands,” he said.


10 thoughts on “MJA condemns Reeko Moosa for “violating media freedom””

  1. " Opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Nihan told Minivan News it was “typical” of Moosa to attack any media that “does not report the way he likes.” "

    Like they're any better.

    Politicians seem more concerned about what people are saying about them than making any actual progress.

  2. MN will definitely benefit if the news reporting remained outside the area of tabloid journalism. Giving space to this continuing drama generated by the likes of DhiTV or VTV robs vital space for those readers visiting MN for verifying contradictory stories that really count in the general conversation of public debate.

    MN can greatly benefit by showing the lead in improving media culture, in the hope that one day, we'll have decent public conversations via your website and others who are not catering to the 'alleged criminal elements' within the local media network.

  3. Why can't Moosa have his say in public. Just like the other Green and Blue and Red ghastly fellows who go on verbal diarrhoea when it comes to something that they do not like - nothing is good for these guys, who are all looking for power and not for the common interests of the public. When Moosa says something, it is deemed a threat and coming from the Governmnet. No, really not. Moosa is a member of Parliament and he enjoys an overwhelming majority in his constituent, and he speaks not for the government but in his rights as an MP. Continue your good work, Moosa.

  4. was moosamanik taken to police for questioning? i do not think so. this government "yelled" Businessmen to stay at their drawer but its those people who are chairing state enterprises.

    Can some body tell me that Fox news in USA always telecast correct information? is it always praising president obama? Moosa Manik cannot take the heat..what ever he say should be always true..do you think so?

  5. Reeko needs to go back to school and pherhaps his shrinking brain will gain some matuarity and then will be able to speak some sense.

  6. Moosa, leave politics and go dance with Niuma and Jamsheeda. That's where you belong. This country has better decent and educated people who can be MP's. So sod off Mr Poody.

  7. Moosa Manik has the power to get elected to political office due to his lucrative business interests in construction. The fact that he starred in Maldivian movies is irrelevant. Money elects people in almost every democracy in the world and the fact that Moosa can get elected and re-elected to parliament is proof that Moosa has more than enough.

    What we do not need are MPs who masquerade themselves as educated with questionable degrees sponsored by the Malaysian tourism industry, MPs who disguise their low intellect and poor social standing by spewing out torrents of poetic Divehi with almost no substance and MPs whose personal financial standing leaves them as puppets in the hands of vested business interests.

  8. He needs to wake up! This fellow is still acting the goat. Symptons of an un educated brain at work.

  9. MJA is hijacked by Kutti Brother and Yameen Abdul Gayoom's Pattey Irigaa !! So much for the independent MJA!! What a jokE!!!! I agree Rekoo has to tame himself and be more displine BUT at the same time MJA is not an independent NGO!! Its a heavy weight quai-political orgisation which is headed by DRP AND PA!


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